Man beaten by San Bernardino deputies in video released on bail

Man beaten by San Bernardino deputies in video released on bail
San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said 10 deputies have been placed on paid administrative leave after TV news video showed a suspect being beaten and kicked. (Rick Sforza / Associated Press)

A 30-year-old man who was beaten by a group of San Bernardino County deputies was released from jail Sunday night.

Francis Pusok was released on bail just before 7 p.m. He was seen in a video, captured Thursday afternoon by a KNBC-TV Channel 4 helicopter, being kicked and punched by deputies near Highway 173 and Arrowhead Lake Road at the end of a horseback pursuit.


The video appears to show the deputies striking him after he was on the ground with his hands behind his back.

San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon immediately responded to the video, calling it "disturbing."

McMahon announced Friday that 10 deputies, including a sergeant and detective, were placed on paid administrative leave as the department investigates the beating.

"I am disturbed and troubled by what I see," he said Friday. "It does not appear to be in line with our policies and procedures."

The FBI has opened a civil rights investigation into the incident.

Pusok's booking photo shows bruises on the left side of his face.

Pusok was arrested on suspicion of felony evading, theft of a horse, possessing stolen property and on a warrant for reckless driving, authorities said.

The incident started about 12:15 p.m. Thursday when deputies arrived at a home in unincorporated Apple Valley to serve a search warrant in an identity theft investigation, according to a statement from the sheriff's department.

When deputies arrived at the home, Pusok drove away in a car, starting a nearly three-hour chase, sheriff's officials said.

After Pusok's vehicle became disabled, he stole a horse from a group of people at Deep Creek Hot Springs, sheriff's officials said.

At about 3 p.m. a group of deputies found Pusok near Highway 173 and Arrowhead Lake Road, sheriff's officials said.

After using a Taser on Pusok, deputies began striking him, including kicking him in the groin, according to the video.

Pusok, who appeared to have his hands behind his back as he lay on the ground, was kicked and kneed about a dozen times and punched more than two dozen times in the roughly two-minute beating, the video showed.

Pusok was taken to the hospital. Two deputies were also taken to the hospital; two were treated for cuts, a twisted knee and a back injury from the horse, sheriff's officials said.


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